‘By tusk and trunk’
Those who have followed Oscar and Arabella, that indomitable, woolly mammoth duo, in their picture book adventures: ‘Oscar and Arabella’ and ‘Hot, Hot, Hot’ will be delighted to learn that the pair have ascended to school age.
On arrival of a letter from Professor Snout at the Mammoth Academy, the pair are both advised as to the items they will need in readiness for their first school day. Use of the novel form, allows significant character development, Neal Layton includes a facsimile of Oscar’s letter ‘ and later of his school map ‘ both of which have been rather carelessly crumpled and smudged!
Activities take a turn towards the unexpected when Oscar discovers a set of footprints in the snow which, being the inquisitive mammoth that fans of the series will know that he is, he decides to follow…
It transpires the tracks lead to the kitchens where a thief has been stealing oranges. The mystery unravels and Oscar becomes entwined in playing out the role of detective in a furiously paced adventure that sees him do battle against the humans using a rather unwieldy prehistoric skateboard!
This novel will appeal to those who have enjoyed Ian Whybrow and Tony Ross’ ‘Little Wolf’ series. Illustrations and text alike are brilliantly executed by Neal Layton whose brilliant first novel guarantees mammoth amounts of fun!